UFC 229 will be remembered for many things: chaos, great fights and Derrick Lewis.
Everything about Lewis’ involvement in UFC 229 was peak “Black Beast.” The last-second Hail-Mary KO, the gassing early, the post-fight interview in his underwear and the unforgettable quotes.
Lewis was a mere seconds away from a forgettable decision loss before a stunning right hook put things back on the right track for the Black Beast. The fight has been deemed the greatest statistical comeback in UFC history after Lewis was caught with a -82 significant strike differential at the end of the bout.
Lewis was fighting on what was dubbed the biggest card in UFC history, and it would have been easy for him to be forgotten amongst the chaos of the main event. But as Lewis has shown time and time again, the man knows how to market himself.
Following the last second KO, Lewis removed his shorts inside the Octagon in what was a rather confusing move for many observers. When asked why the sudden need to ditch the pants, Lewis told Joe Rogan, “Because my balls was hot!”
Lewis went from winning the fight to winning over the fans’ heart in a matter of seconds. Most importantly, Lewis may have just thrown his hat into the title picture. Whether he likes it or not.
“I need to sit my black ass down and do some cardio,” Lewis said regarding a potential title shot. “F—k what you talkin’ about right now. I ain’t trying to fight for no title right now with no gas tank like that s—t.”
As for how he’ll celebrate?
“Probably gonna go home and throw my wife’s legs up in the air,” Lewis said on Fox Sports 1.
Lewis’ post-fight interview may have ended up being just as important for his career as his knockout was, considering the reaction it garnered from the MMA community.
In a night full of disappointing moments and negative headlines, Lewis stood tall among the chaos.
“I wish [Lewis removing his shorts] was the craziest thing that happened that [tonight],” UFC President Dana White said at the post-fight press conference.